Writers should compile their thoughts that are really influential to their culture and society. A reader is like a hungry person who asks for food
Every person; young or old, child or adult, rich or poor has the right to read. No one can stop someone from reading a book or deprive him of his/ her right to devour words. In Cairo International Book Fair, I go every day and watch the crowds from two perspectives; one of a fellow reader and another of an author watching potential readers. As a reader, I have a list of my favorite books. I go to the display area excited to get hold of a copy and if I am lucky enough a signed one too. In the past, before I became an author of many books myself, I did not know any author personally. Today, I became friends with many of them and I not only get a signed copy but a customized signature too! However, after many years of hard work, I fulfilled my dream and sign for fellow readers myself.
Is there a criteria that governs writing? Who is to be called a writer?
I spent the 10 days of the Book Fair observing and socializing. I was stopped many times by some young girls asking where to find a specific novel or book. Other times, they just ask me about the name of the writer and if I knew where to find all his works if any! I was intrigued by a phenomenon of long lines of youngsters waiting to get hold of a book. After the frequent questions about the trendy book, I had to Google to curb my curiosity and get more information. My friend Google was generous enough not only to give me information about the writer but a couple of pages and many excerpts from the book. To my surprise, it is just random paragraphs of weak content piled into a so called novel! Excuse me! How this is considered a novel?! What captured my attention is the jubilation of the lucky one who gets a copy. The young person holds the copy with a big smile that motivated me to ask about the identity of the writer and the motivation of the purchaser. “We just love her,” this was the answer I got but it is enough?
A debate aroused between me and some fellow authors. Is there a criteria that governs writing? Who is to be called a writer? We split into two groups one advocating the right of every person to express himself and share his thought in a book and publish it as long as there are readers willing to read and appreciate. The other group, refused the random act of writing and publishing nonsense that is rendered as a book and occupies a place on the book shelf amid other “real” intellectual production. To be considered a writer and author you need to exert a lot of effort. You have to add to your skill and talent. A young writer told me once that she does not need to read to write. She does not believe in the essentiality of reading in the first place in order to gather the components that allows her to write so others read. Writing a book is different than just sharing your thoughts on social media platforms or personal blogs. Every person in our modern age can write what he likes and click on “share” or “publish” and in no time his/ her words goes viral. However, a book is something sacred. It is supposed to live for ages and be cherished through generations.
Young people they have to refine themselves first through reading good literature and exposure to intellectuals
Writers should compile their thoughts that are really influential to their culture and society. A reader is like a hungry person who asks for food. You can either give him junk food to curb his hunger or provide him with nutritious well cooked meal that not only fills his stomach but is also an addition to his body in general. A trendy book is like a fizzy drink that loses its taste as soon as the fizz fades away.
Also read: When memories poured out on my head!
I am not against giving a chance to read and hear what young people want to say but they have to refine themselves first through reading good literature and exposure to intellectuals. Slang and obscenity is not worth publishing in books. Having an eye on financial profit is a treason to culture. New writers deserve care and attention but yet they are entitled to respect the responsibility and holiness of words.
Published under the International Cooperation Protocol with Middle East Business | Life Magazine